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Thoughts about Dev Talking #17


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Hello there,

 

Like many people, I watched the Dev Talking number 17 and liked it a lot, indeed, because of the gameplay footage (which led to a long, passioning discussion initiated by William Blake), but also because of the game's mechanics explained in the first half of the Live. I will present some reactions about both of those elements.

 

Part 1

The different types of settlements have been presented and it does make sense to have villages, crop farms, temples and forts (with their variations, like mines, cattle farms, etc). I cherished another settlement type, coastal villages', that were in the first Knights of Honor. When I learnt they got removed, I was a bit confused, but Frujin answered it would work differently. So I took patience.

Now, any settlement can be coastal if it's close enough to the shore (so that there can be coastal villages, coastal temples, coastal farms, and coastal castles). The moment I heard that, it was great great news ! I don't know precisely what are the effects on each coastal settlement type, but it seems to be still linked to trade, resources, gold and ship travel (I hope I'm correct on that last one, I don't want to write any fake news !).

That really matters, as sea is the most effective way to trade. The sea is a natural frontier, and a large space where a boat can move more freely and quicker than a caravan on land. It's more dangerous though, because of the conditions implicated (wind, waves, storms...), and as such it requires knowledge and maneuverability.

I heard during the stream the word Admiralties. None of us can understand what it exactly implies, but it's certainly related to sea, and I wish it will be an original mechanic that will fit in my mod... and to see more about that, you'll have to read the next diary about Judicates... which is not ready at all. But I hope it will be soon enough !

There was discussion about resource features, and a large number of goods, like the current 65, is quite impressive indeed ! I can't say much on that, I'm not behind the curtain. It has been said some resources will be produced in a specific province, according to historical, geographical reasons. I think that's the kind of detail that adds balance between historicity and fun gameplay. If it's modular for a map-maker, it's great, here again !

As sea was talked about... pirates have been announced, and that makes me smile, as for admiralties. It should totally fit in my mod too. I wish it will need some specific requirements, like culture or religion. Sea gameplay will certainly be a lot more improved, compared to Knights of Honor 1.

 

Part 2

Here, I will give some impressions about the gameplay footage we've watched in the stream.

So, it appears there are connections between goods, settlements, buildings, and more, in the way it's made wider than in the original game. It gives complexity, while still being simple to understand. Links and effects from actions or places seem to have a greater impact, to be more meaningful, and to be in a greater number. Again, these are impressions, but there's a feeling of everything matters. The short video shown last month about Tangiers' province, which shows us a living world, goes in the same way. Quite an improvement, I really appreciate.

I'd like to talk about UI. It's the thing I observed the most. Generally, it looks like intuitive enough, and is nicely done. But I think the game misses the HD touch. It's like a bit oldy. Not that much, but still. Again, I want to give courage to the team to work on it, and don't blame you for its current state. 💪

I'm meeting a problem with the character's icons, on two levels. First, those which are displayed in the royal court. I find their colours too dark, they do not differentiate enough from each other. It was brighter in the first game, and I preferred that, because a marshal icon was easily recognizable with bright red, a clerc icon with bright light blue, etc. Second, it concerns the icons displayed when the player chooses a specificity for one of his childs : the five icons, while showing different forms, have the same gold-yellow colour. I don't know if it's a real issue, because this window appears only for a few moments in a game, but it's related to the first point about icons, which don't have much difference. I think readability should be improved. Even the provinces' resources and goods are more easy to differentiate, while their image quality is lesser than the rest. Dear devs, please, do pay attention to these thoughts.

The buildings' choice in a town seems really cool. It appears te be more limited, but it's another way of playing, and I'm eager to see how it works !

The resources (gold, food, trade goods, piety, books...) appeared balanced in their number ; it might be too early for me to say that, because there were so many features involved in the gameplay video, but I don't remember resources to be as easily accessible as it appeared in the first game. I can only say the game in its current state has been tested and tested again by the devs to make sure it will be viable.

 

Part 3

Finally, I'm just sharing some free suggestions.

I wanted to complete Ivory Knight's original idea about vision ranges, because it concerned essentially towns and settlements. We've forgot to talk about marshals vision ranges, and more specifically, units vision ranges. If that feature was part of the game, it'd be good for units to each have their own vision range, depending on their type. For instance, peasants, and generally footmen didn't have a wide vision range. But support units like archers, and moreover light cavalry should see further than regular units, because they were the kind of regiments to be used as scouts. That would give a greater interest to having light cavalry in an army. Along with that, maybe one of the already existing skills in the game could offer an extra bonus of a marshal's vision range. To make it quick : the marshal's view range could be based on the unit that has the larger vision range.

At last, two more ideas : it would be nice to make the Papacy playable, with an original style of gameplay, and in the same way, to give Italian republics (or generally republics) an original gameplay style as well.

 

Thanks for taking time to read this !

Edited by Calliope
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I would hold my opinion on an UI and visuals as it is obviously work in progress. Some icons are clearly placeholders, not to mention green placeholder stabs. It is also hard to say about real quality as we look at a video played over a live stream so amount of resizing and compression is significant.

For the navigation and naval parts of the game I don't think we know anything about it at all.

For dynamic line of sights and fog of war I doubt they want to go overly hardcore on that. Most likely you will be able to see everything in your province and something in any province next to you, but a dynamic cumulative fog of war based on settlements and marshal units and different bonuses on specific unit types in an army... I doubt that.

 

 

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True, these are reactions, but the game is still on works (and in its state, I may have been wrong about a possible release in autumn). Dev team has already been very nice by showing us this teaser, I think we're midway to release date, but from what we saw, and from all the current published diaries, it's improving.

I... suppose naval gameplay and everything related to it will be set in one dev diary ? Let's hope so. At least, we're expecting the next one to be about espionage !

Yes, we're going far with this vision range idea. I won't be bothered if it stays like in KoH 1. It's only suggestions, and if the devs love the idea, and can implement it in the game, it'll be great ! If they can't, it'll still be nice. If think the question is open, and is debated among the dev team.

That's the same for my own suggestion about built and yet to build settlements (which I think wouldn't be as complicated to set as vision ranges, but again, devs' decision alone).

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